Black History Culture : "Born In Slavery" - Former Slave Interviews

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by cherryblossom, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. This online collection is a joint presentation of the Manuscript and Prints and Photographs Divisions of the Library of Congress and includes more than 200 photographs from the Prints and Photographs Division that are now made available to the public for the first time.

    The narrative excerpts presented here are a small sample of the wealth of stories available in this online collection. Some narratives contain startling descriptions of cruelty while others convey an almost nostalgic view of plantation life. These narratives provide an invaluable first-person account of slavery and the individuals it affected. Although the African Americans who lived under slavery are no longer with us, their experiences remain due to these interviews recorded in the late 1930s by the Federal Writers' Project.

    HEAR AND SEE "VOICES AND FACES FROM THE COLLECTION"
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Fountain Hughes

    Fountain Hughes was born a slave in 1848 in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 1944 (or 1949) he was interviewed in Baltimore by Hermond Norwood, a representative of the Library of Congress’s Archive of Folk Song. The Federal Writer’s Project, a Depression-era program, had initiated the government’s effort to capture the memories of the, by then, very elderly former slaves. Hughes recalled not only life under slavery but also the difficulties many slaves faced in making the transition to freedom in an antagonistic white society that worked hard to impede their efforts. Conditions for the Hughes family under freedom were materially not much better than they had been under slavery. In this interview Hughes recalled how his widowed mother supported her family by binding, or contracting, her children out to work. Still, Hughes asserted, he far preferred freedom to slavery.


    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7912249630860177520
     
  3. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Good stuff cherryblossom.

    On the subject of slave narratives, I would also recommend a book titled "africa remembered: narratives by west africans from the era of the slave trade", edited by philip d. curtin.
     
  4. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Thank you, Brother Raptor! And for this additional info as well!
     
  5. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Tempie Cummins, Age Unknown

    "The white chillun tries teach me to read and write but I didn' larn much, 'cause I allus workin'. Mother was workin' in the house, and she cooked too. She say she used to hide in the chimney corner and listen to what the white folks say. When freedom was 'clared, marster wouldn' tell 'em, but mother she hear him tellin' mistus that the slaves was free but they didn' know it and he's not gwineter tell 'em till he makes another crop or two. When mother hear that she say she slip out the chimney corner and crack her heels together four times and shouts, 'I's free, I's free.' Then she runs to the field, 'gainst marster's will and tol' all the other slaves and they quit work. Then she run away and in the night she slip into a big ravine near the house and have them bring me to her. Marster, he come out with his gun and shot at mother but she run down the ravine and gits away with me.
     
  6. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    FIFTY YEARS IN CHAINS;
    OR,
    THE LIFE OF AN
    AMERICAN SLAVE.

    "My God! Can such things be!
    Hast Thou not said that whatsoe'er is done
    Unto thy weakest and thy humblest one,
    Is even done to Thee?" - WHITTIER.

    NEW-YORK
    H. DAYTON, PUBLISHER.
    36 HOWARD STREET.
    INDIANAPOLIS, IND.: - ASHER & COMPANY.
    1859.


    http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/ball/ball.html
     
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